From a back table at Pitch’s, I watched a blowout playoff football on television and scribbled in my journal.
The female bartender was talking to an OTA regular. She wore a breathing apparatus and sucked in pure O2. She wasn’t OTA. She had traveled light years beyond that commonplace visage into history.
I eavesdropped and it wasn’t difficult because the bartender was practically yelling at the regular, not at him, but telling a story that occurred a few days ago.
She was pissed, breathing fire. Doubtless the oxygen threatened to ignite and we’d all die.
But I would report the OTA story until the end. My scribbles might survive the conflagration.
So the story went:
Two female employees of the joint were off the clock and drinking in the joint with an OTA man, presumably their friend. They began play slapping each other across the face. Or more precisely, the women slapped and the man received. He barely resisted, but got in a few taps.
The game went on for some time. Everyone was watching.
At some point, blood was drawn. It spilled out onto the floor, a real Thin Lizzy moment in Port Orford. The girls were back in town.
The bartender on duty, not the one narrating the story, (who I learned was the owner), threw the trio out. They left and continued the slapping on the sidewalk.
He went down hard to the concrete and fractured his femur, compound. More blood. An ambulance rushed him to the Gold Beach hospital, and later, over to Medford for rehab. He was still there! He might never walk normally again. A cane was a distinct possibility.
She called them fools, idiots, fuck ups. There was no slapping in her bar! She was putting up a sign. Anyone caught slapping was 86’d. Damn well forever. We can’t have that nonsense in here! A man could have bled out!
The bartender looked up and saw me writing. “You writin’ a book?” she barked in a kind way.
“Yes,” I said.